C California Style

Hotel Californian’s rooftop pool.
The property’s Court of Califia plaza.
Majorelle Spa takes its name from the distinct blue hue that is native to Marrakech.
The Cordova guest room.
Inside Blackbird restaurant.

Dramatic Entrance

by C California Style

The revival of Santa Barbara’s bold and beautiful Hotel Californian

Santa Barbara’s revived Hotel Californian is every bit bold and beautiful. Designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard delivered a megadose of splendor to the 1925 seaside property with his iconic pattern play, masterfully mixing zigzags, oversized mirrors, Moroccan tiles and an eclectic array of international antiques. His glamorous combinations are enough to make one dizzy with design sensory overload, however that floor-to-ceiling drama—what he calls a “graphic experience”—is what’s drawing celebrities, locals and far-flung travelers to linger a little longer at the lively 121-room hotel. In reinventing the original Spanish Colonial Revival’s facade with more modern Moorish designs, Bullard says he wanted to “give Santa Barbara an edge that is fresh and exciting.” From the transportive black-and-white lobby to the Marrakech-inspired spa to the rooftop pool to the uber-locally sourced Blackbird restaurant and bar, his mission is wildly accomplished. Rooms from $550. 36 State St., S.B., 805-882-0100; thehotelcalifornian.com.

Photography courtesy of THE HOTEL CALIFORNIAN.

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of C Magazine.